Getting your name out there is a priority for all up and coming music bands. So what happens when your band name is up for a cease and desist? Such was the case for Brisbane indie band Cub Scouts, or as they are now known, Cub Sport. Legal proceedings were initiated by Scouts Australia claiming ownership of the term ‘Cub Scouts’ earlier this year against the band. This odd dispute was amended by the band’s decision to alter their name to Cub Sport. Tim Nelson, lead singer of the band in an interview with Triple J commented, “I don’t think we ever thought that we’d achieve enough for this to be a problem [for Scouts Australia]”. Although the consequences of this name change are yet to be truly realised, on the positive side it has all happened with a few years to spare before the release of their debut album.
This isn’t the first of legal disputes regarding band names, and it certainly will not be the last. The most common scenario where the issue of duplicate or similar band names arises occurs when bands begin to travel the globe. Back in 2006, the Raconteurs (Jack White’s offshoot project) had to change their name to the Saboteurs when they came to Australia. ‘The Raconteurs’ name had already been taken by an unsigned Queensland jazz band. So how can rising musicians avoid losing their identities? With fame and proof of prior commercial use, it is easier to make a claim on your name, however, you should also look into your options regarding Trade Mark registration.
The moral of the story is, when making that all important decision of what the crowd is going to yell out at your first big concert, make sure it’s something original and a name you have total rights to. Cub Scouts, I mean Cub Sport, had to learn the hard way. Although, then again, if it weren’t for cease and desists Led Zeppelin would have been known as ‘The New Yardbirds’.
Thanks to our intern Sam for this interesting article.